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Emily Larson 2019-4-2

Western Union Foundation Provides Aid in 2019

According to the International Disaster Database, Em-Dat, natural disasters affect more than 200 million people each year. For victims of natural disasters, necessities become even more essential. The impact to the affected area’s infrastructure creates challenges to those trying to rebuild their lives, beyond basic necessities such as food and shelter. Along with the need for food and shelter, there’s also the impact to the area’s infrastructure that can create even more challenges to those trying to rebuild and restore control of their lives.

The Western Union Foundation provides funds to nonprofits supporting urgent relief and recovery missions for people in crisis. We align our efforts with those of The Western Union Company, which is positioned to support aid efforts, due to its global presence and ability to make cash accessible for those in need.

This year, the Western Union Foundation has responded to the below crises:

 

Colombia Population Movement | February 2019

Colombia. 2018. Migrants receive attention in health services, food, hydration, accommodation, communication with family members and others, thanks to humanitarian assistance provided by the Colombian Red Cross.  Credits: Colombian Red Cross

Colombia. 2018. Migrants receive attention in health services, food, hydration, accommodation, communication with family members and others, thanks to humanitarian assistance provided by the Colombian Red Cross. 
Credits: Colombian Red Cross

The number of people crossing the border into Colombia from Venezuela has increased due to the crisis in Venezuela.

An estimated 2,000 to 10,000 people are moving into Colombia each day without basic needs, including shelter, health services and water.

Western Union Foundation:

Supported the International Federation of the Red Cross & Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) with a $45,000 grant.

IFRC:

Partnering with the Colombian Red Cross Society’s to aid 120,000 people on the Colombia/Venezuela border.

Western Union:

Western Union’s Agents in Colombia, Acciones y Valores and Giros y Finanzas, each committed USD $5,000 to the cause, matched 1:1 by the Foundation.

 

Alabama, United States | Tornadoes, March 2019

The American Red Cross responds after tornadoes devastated areas of Beauregard, Alabama. Photo by Jennifer Ryan/American Red Cross

On the first weekend of March, a series of tornadoes and floods hit the US Southeast region. Tornadoes damaged more than 1,000 homes in Alabama, leaving hundreds of residents homeless or displaced. The American Red Cross was immediately on the ground and opened hundreds of cases to help families affected by the storms.

Western Union Foundation:

Supported the American Red Cross with a $15,000 grant. *This grant also supported Midwest flooding.

American Red Cross:

Immediately on the ground to help families affected by the storms, providing basic necessities such as shelter, meals, and health services.

Western Union:

Activated fee-free transfers to the American Red Cross at participating agent locations in the US.  Customers can complete their donation by using “American Red Cross” as the Pay To recipient, “REDCROSS DC” as the Code City and “ALABAMA TORNADO AND MIDWEST FLOODING RELIEF” in the Account field.

 

Midwest, United States | Flooding, March 2019

March 15, 2019. Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Ice jams on rivers were the culprit of some sudden flooding experienced in cities and neighborhoods across Wisconsin during the past week, including Waubeka, Arcadia, Green Bay and, seen here, Fond du Lac. Photo by Justin Kern/American Red Cross Photo by: Justin Kern/American Red Cross

In March, the US Midwest region flooded. Winter storms and tornadoes caused deadly flooding across the Midwest, including Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Over 85 cities in Nebraska alone declared states of emergency.

Western Union Foundation:

Supported the American Red Cross with a $15,000 grant. *This grant also supported Alabama tornadoes.

American Red Cross:

Opened hundreds of cases to help families affected by the flooding.

Western Union:

Activated fee-free transfers to the American Red Cross at participating agent locations in the US. Customers can complete their donation by using “American Red Cross” as the Pay To recipient, “REDCROSS DC” as the Code City and “ALABAMA TORNADO AND MIDWEST FLOODING RELIEF” in the Account field.

 

Mozambique | Cyclone Idai, March 2019

Youth walking through a flooded section of Praia Nova, Beira, Mozambique, after the cyclone. Photo by Denis Onyodi / IFRC / EPA-EFE /REX / Shutterstock

In the wake of Cyclone Idai, an estimated 1,000 people died and miles of Mozambique land flooded. The Government of Mozambique reported 600,000 people were affected and 100,000 in need of rescue.

Western Union Foundation:

The first funder of Save the Children with a $25,000 grant.

Save the Children:

Storms separate children from their families and destroy their schools, disrupting education. School supplies need to be purchased as families focus on rebuilding their homes. Save the Children shared that “people in cyclone-hit areas of Mozambique are clinging desperately to rooftop areas virtually submerged by flood water, awaiting aid and rescue.”

Save the Children will lead emergency health and food delivery, reuniting families and restoring children’s access to education.

 

Learn more about disaster relief efforts in 2018 here.